By Michael O’Brien
As the Broncs come off another tough loss this past Sunday against Siena, the final week of the regular season begins. The four Rider seniors will play with a lot of emotion as they compete in their final game at the Broncs’ Zoo on Sunday versus Fairfield following a road game on Friday against St. Peter’s.
For guard Ali Heller, she thought that this game would be an opportunity to further place herself on Rider’s all-time three-point list. Instead, her career was cut short on Jan. 13 against Iona when she suffered a torn ACL. Her playing ability, though, will still be remembered by many.
Aisha Varnadore has hardly seen the court this season. Yet, in her two years since transferring to Rider, she has been a leader by cheering on her teammates and she hopes to get additional playing time on Sunday.
If the team had someone who could withstand injury, it would be center Sarah Homan. She has missed a total of one game in her entire Rider career and that occurred in the early stages of her freshman season. Since then, she has played in 111 consecutive games and that should increase to 113 by this Sunday.
Lastly, if there was a position as an emotional leader for Rider, it would go to Alyssa Parsons. Her college career has been a roller coaster ride with a number of injuries that consisted of two torn ACL’s, a serious back injury and a shoulder injury. She always wanted one game that everyone would remember her by and she did exactly that this past Friday at home versus Iona. Parsons drained six three-pointers and scored a career-high 22 points in a come-from-behind 80-76 win that snapped the team’s 10-game losing streak.
Combined, the four seniors have endured a lot. Although the overall results in the three previous seasons were not what they expected, their hard work and team spirit never left and with the season unfinished, they hope to provide one last inspired performance for the home crowd on Sunday against Fairfield.
The Stags currently stand in second place in the MAAC. After that, it will be all about one thing, and that is to do whatever it takes to win the MAAC Tournament.